James went from being overweight and unfit to running and incredibly quick 2:45 marathon. He now enjoys running trail ultra marathons as well as competing for the GB Age Group team in triathlon.
Have you always been into sport?
Not exactly, at one point I was overweight and struggled to maintain any sort of base fitness. Thankfully, motivation came to me in the form of an Ultra Marathon called Trailwalker several years ago and I have not looked back since. Be it Ironman, GB AG Triathlon and Duathlon or indeed Marathon/Ultrarunning, I am always seeking new goals.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was allured by the thought of testing myself against the best athletes in my age category, that and a love of cycling mapped with an ability to turn a decent split of the bike meant I kind of fell into the sport. I love to constantly test myself and triathlon has a plethora of avenues for this, mastering nutrition, swim technique even functional movement all become independent mini goals I enjoy trying to crack.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date has to be the ITU Rotterdam Grand Final 2017 (Standard Distance Triathlon). Never have I worked so hard to qualify and get to a race on that scale. I performed to the best of my ability at that given time and flew home a very happy athlete.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was representing the British Army at the London Marathon in 2017 as a Championship runner, and then delivering a personal best with a sub 2:45 run.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Without a shadow of a doubt, my toughest race to date was the Snowdon Trail Marathon 2018. I completely underestimated the mountain and got my nutrition wrong. I was underprepared and undernourished. I learned some valuable lessons that day both physical and mental.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks, in my opinion, are options for growth. Failing is how we learn and providing I can understand why something may now have gone as I had expected I am content to learn from it and grow. I am definitely a glass half full type of athlete!
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Remember why you're doing it, it's supposed to be fun! All too often do I see friends burn out and fall out of love with training and competing. Sometimes you need to get out in the fresh air with your friends and just enjoy it, no numbers, no speed or power just fresh air and some good laughs.
What are your goals for 2019?
2019 I will see my biggest challenge to date, I am off to the Sahara to tackle the ‘Hardest footrace on the planet’ the gruelling 250km desert Ultra Marathon, Marathon Des Sables. Upon completion and providing I can bag decent points I envision application to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc world championships may quickly follow. I have yet to rule out a long distance triathlon or maybe some GB AG racing for which I am already qualified (Transelvania European Duathlon Championships - Romania)
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from multiple sources and people, I see someone achieve a goal of which upon reflection I mentally challenge myself to consider. If it appeals and I am free I go ‘all in’ and strive to train for, peak and complete my new goal.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
My favourite thing about Sundried is its ethical approach to manufacturing and sustainability. I love how deeply its foundations run in this area and truly believe it is innovative. My favourite piece of kit has to be the men's running and training vest, stylish, cooling, comfortable and best of all made from 100% recycled fabric.
While California is stunning all year long, there’s no better time than summer to get outside and get active! These five events all across the state will get your blood flowing in no time.
San Diego Triathlon Classic
Saturday, September 9, 2017
NTC Park in Liberty Station San Diego, CA 92106
You’ve worked. You’ve trained. You’ve sweated. Now watch it all pay off! Choose from the Sprint Course or the more challenging Olympic Course. The swimming will take you into the San Diego Bay, while the cycling course runs through the Point Loma Naval Base and the running portion finishes the afternoon with the beautiful course through NTC Park.
Never competed in a triathlon before? It’s a great way to get your fitness up and get involved before taking the big jump. Best of all, the proceeds go to support research, education, and support for patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. What’s better than helping your body and helping others at the same time?
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Bayshore at 5415 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90803
Beaches aren’t just for surfing anymore! Take it easy with a 5k or 10k race on some of Southern California’s most iconic coastline, or opt for a traditional marathon or half-marathon. Instead of following a linear course, runners go back and forth along a section of designated beach area. Stay cool with the ocean breeze, plenty of water fountains, and of course, the beautiful scenic views. All finishers receive a medal.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
1150 W Foster Road Orcutt, CA 93455
Not only is this great exercise and a fundraiser for a great cause, it’s also a stunning trip through the open roads of Wine Country. Not up for a full century? No worries: metric centuries and quarter centuries are also part of the event. Registration fee includes a commemorative t-shirt, maps, routes markings, rest stops, and barbecue at the route’s end! That’s right…barbecue! Choose from beef, chicken, or vegetable, and enjoy a tasty reward for a job well done. Net proceeds from the Windmill Century are donated to bike safety initiatives in local elementary schools.
Pier To Peak Half Marathon
Sunday, September 3, 2017
State Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Billed as “the world’s toughest half marathon,” this run isn’t for the faint of heart due to a course that takes runners to an elevation of 3996 feet. The trail starts at Stearns Wharf and carries on through the city of Santa Barbara all the way into Los Padres National Forest with some truly stunning views of the South Coast along the way. Perfect for experienced runners hungry for something outside the ordinary! All finishers get a finisher's t-shirt and a commemorative coin.
Diablo Trail Run
Sunday, August 27, 2017
96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton CA 94517
Diablo offers something for athletes at all levels: choose from the 4-mile course, the 10-mile course, a half-marathon, a full marathon, and the 50k run, all through Diablo State Park in Clayton, California. The 4-mile course keeps a relatively steady elevation in Mitchell Canyon though the longer courses do get mountainous. Runners will take in the park atmosphere and savour unique views of the San Francisco Bay and the surrounding valleys. Pre-registration includes a t-shirt; finishers will receive a custom medal and 50k finishers will also receive a custom coaster.
California’s vast and varied landscapes make it a state like no other. What better way to experience it than by getting out and seeing it for yourself? Trust us, it’s good for the body and the soul.
About the author: JT Lyons grew up riding the canyons of San Diego on his single speed Huffy. Some time in between falling in love with his Huffy and the 200+ triathlons he's competed in, JT created the San Diego Triathlon Classic. Find out more on their website.